2 Corinthians 13:12 – Greet one another with a holy kiss.
Several friends have recently used horns to greet me. One honked a car horn while driving past the church, and another sped past me on a motorcycle and beeped while I was staining a deck. They did not have to do it. They had places to go and things to do, but they turned their attention toward me for a moment as if to say, “Hello friend. I could not simply drive past without acknowledging you.”
The early church did not have car horns, but they were instructed in Scripture to greet each other with a holy kiss. The Apostle Paul gave those specific directions to Christians in Rome (Romans 16:16), Corinth (1 Corinthians 16:20 and 2 Corinthians 13:12), and Thessalonica (1 Thessalonians 5:26). Peter encouraged the same (1 Peter 5:14). Let us consider today’s application of greet one another with a holy kiss.
Greet one another. Be glad to see each other. Christian brothers and sisters, we are to receive one another joyfully. After all, every Christian is your brother or sister in Christ. They are family, and family is to be a place of encouragement and belonging. This is especially important when the world does not understand us. Lovers of Jesus are often misunderstood, ostracized, and even shunned by the world. Christians, let us find community and encouragement from each other. Take the time and make the effort to greet one another.
With a kiss. It does not always have to be a kiss, but we should greet each other with some kind of appropriate greeting indicating Christian affection. These expressions of love may vary in different homes and communities. For example, it is culturally acceptable for men to hold hands in Uganda. I still remember the first time a Ugandan friend took my hand as we walked. It would have been rude for me to reject that sign of affection, and I learned to appreciate his sincere friendship expressed through a hand-hold. It is also always wise to consider the person you are greeting. A thoughtful person will recognize and honor personal boundaries that vary for each individual.
A holy kiss. Holy means to be set apart for honorable use. Let your greetings originate from honorable purposes. Our greetings should stem from pure expressions of Christian love. We are motivated to bless others more than our own personal gain. Again, it may not be a kiss, but it should be holy. It could be a phone call, text message, hand wave, smile, friendly “hello,” or even honking the horn. Whatever it is, our world would surely benefit from an increase in pure, healthy signs of affection.
1 Peter 5:14 – Greet one another with the kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.